Showing posts from May, 2010

Rogue's Brutal Bitter

while at hidden the other night, my tastebuds were tingled by Rogue Brewery's Brutal Bitter.

it pours with an awful lot of head, and stays a bit hazy even after it warms up a little.  offered in 650mL bottles, it didn't say what its alcohol volume was, but judging by our lack of addle-brainedness, we figured it wasn't outrageously high!  15 degrees plato, 59 IBUs, 14.2 degrees Lovibond and just 7 ingredients:  100% floor-malted maris otter, cara vienna, cara wheat malts; crystal and rogue farm willamette hops, free range coastal waters and top fermenting pacman yeast.  no chemicals, preservatives or additives.  suggested food pairings are beef and bbq.

they say:  "Dedicated to Justin Fisch, the "Shade Man".  An imperial style bitter using exotic traditional floor malts, a hoppy citrus flavor with a stupendous hop aroma.  Hedonistic!"

definitely has a hop aroma, its smooth and very easy-drinking.  not particularly bitter and makes a great session beer.  …

Hidden Tasting Bar and Social Lounge

again with the never having heard of a place... thank dog i have friends who are in the know and willing to drag me out to try new places!

Hidden Tasting Bar and Social Lounge is located in the westin grand at 433 robson street.

they say:  "Hidden Tasting Bar and Social Lounge offers something for everyone. A place to share food, and enjoy a unique beer, or glass of wine in a relaxed environment. We have simplified the eating experience by integrating global food offerings using local ingredients, with attentive service. It's undeniably approachable, comfortable, and a place where "time flies when you're having fun"."
we definitely found the lounge to be welcoming.  a "nice" place, but one we didn't feel under-dressed in jeans in, nor would you feel over-dressed of you went with clubbier attire.  the space isn't large, but each table is afforded plenty of space so you feel comfortably separate yet part of the whole.  the lighting is muted, …

craft beer locator's beer fact of the day

Craft Beer Locator's Beer Fact of the Day: Pabst Beer is now called Pabst Blue Ribbon beer because it was the first beer to win a blue ribbon at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.

in vino veritas?

could this be true?
i sure hope so

Craft Beer Locator Beer Fact of the Day: Both red wine and dark beer are rich in flavonoids, which are believed to have a positive effect on blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Browns Social House

i had cause to be out and about near 10th and alma, and in need of sustenance, so i stopped in at Browns Social House.  i'd never heard of this chain before, and can't imagine why not.  i guess i just don't get out as much as i'd like to pretend i do.

their beer selection leaves an awful lot to be desired, but the atmosphere and the food were pretty fabulous.  and the bathroom was pretty darned wonderful, and you know how i like a good bathroom in my drinking establishment.

featuring only granville island, okanagan spring 1516, guinness, sleeman's honey brown and grolsch on tap, they also carry the following bottles:  coors light, kokanee, sol, sapporo, guinness and strongbow.  like i said, not much of a selection.  they do offer sleeves of the taps for $3.95 or pitchers for $14 on sundays and mondays.  the "social lager" specially brewed for them by granville island brewery tasted pretty much the same to me as regular gi lager, but at only $4.95 i felt it…

quote of the day

"Give me a woman who loves beer and I will conquer the world."
-Kaiser Welhelm

dix cask

went to dix last thursday for the cask night.
happy happy joy joy, it was an ipa!

quite enjoyable.  no tasting notes for this one though...  just that it was hoppy goodness and totally worth the trip to dix.
as we didn't get there until almost 7:00, we only got one glass of the cask before it was finished.  luckily i really like their house ipa and had more glasses of that than were strictly necessary!  oh the hoppy goodness, how i love thee just a little too well sometimes.

unfortunately there's not really anything on dix's menu for me to eat, so i'm not sure how many more visits to their cask night i might fit in before they close...  all the carnivores in my party were more than delighted by the food options so should i need to venture there again i shouldn't have any trouble convincing the posse to come with me.

Propeller's Extra Special Bitter

and for my next trick, drinking a six pack of Propeller's ESB!
okay, not all in one go... not all today... not that i couldn't do it - don't you doubt my abilities!  i just don't NEED to drink it all today, okay?

pours with an incredible head, lovely coppery brown colour, some hop aroma.

a good canadian beer, this one is brewed by the John Allen Brewing Company in nova scotia.  5% and preservative free.

they say:  "Brewed with carefully selected malts and hops, this copper coloured, English-style ale is our best seller.  Smooth, full-bodied, and non-pasteurized, like all our beers.  Drink fresh."

i find it delicious, but a bit on the subtle side.  i think i'm getting far too used to the big, brash, hoppy ipas and esbs that i've been drinking.  this one almost falls flat in comparison.  but, if i spend a little time with it (thank dog for that six pack), i can see its allure.  and i'm getting assimilated.  tasty stuff, my friends, tasty stuff.


quote of the day

"Speaking of invention, did you know that the tin can was invented in 1811, but can openers weren't invented until 1855?  It's a fact.  During the forty-four years in between, hungry citizens had to access their pork 'n' beans with a hammer and chisel.  They were pretty lucky, don't you think, that in those days beer didn't come in cans?"

Tom Robbins
B is for Beer

quote of the day

"For whatever reason, the ancient Egyptians weren't satisfied with mere survival.  They wanted to be remembered forever, which is why they built the pyramids, and they wanted to ensure that they'd be sufficiently glad and dizzy during their lifetime, which is why they invented beer."

Tom Robbins
B is for Beer

B is for Beer

a children's book for grown-ups - definitely
a grown-up book for children - not so much

gracie perkel is a fabulous character and tom robbins' prose is as witty as ever.  it was a very quick, very enjoyable read.  but i wouldn't suggest reading it to your child, no matter how precocious!

probably the most fun way to read up on the how-to of beer.  a must have for every beer library.

"A hop is some funky vegetable that even vegans won't eat.  Farmers dry the flowers of this plant and call them 'hops'.  I should mention that only the female hop plants are used in making beer, which may be why men are so attracted to it.  It's a mating instinct... when brewers combine hops with yeast and grain and water, and allow the mixture to ferment - to rot - it magically produces an elixir so gassy with blue-collar cheer, so regal with glints of gold, so titillating with potential mischief, so triumphantly refreshing, that it seizes the soul and thrusts it toward th…

quote of the day

"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day."
-Frank Sinatra

good vs evil photos

hopping back in time to last thursday....

here are photos from the good vs evil event at waazubee (part of vancouver craft beer week):

bridget shows off our tickets at the beginning of the night:

the fearless russell brewery reps (featuring the honey lager and the angry scotch ale... their version of good vs evil???):

michelle, the tree rep pouring for the absent crannog rep:

and michelle pouring her own tree beverages:

best display definitely goes to tree...

and here's the lighthouse rep with bottles of the fisgard 150, he also had a keg of the keeper's stout:

howe sound may have had my favourite beer of the evening, the limited edition pothole filler oatmeal stout, but they didn't have much going for them in the presentation department.  i don't have a photo of their table at all... but this might be the pothole filler (or it could be the angry scotch or the keeper's stout...):

these are our end of the evening beers... when we resorted to lagers like tree's hefe…

BC Craft Beer Tasting

wow, wish i could remember even half the beers i tried last saturday night at Just Here for the Beer's BC Craft Beer Tasting at the edgewater casino.

but i'm sure i can only recall about a quarter of them. "free for all beer swill" might have been a more appropriate name for this event.

and before you think i'm besmirching the good name of just here for the beer or vancouver craft beer week, let me just say that this review is fueled by incomplete memory, prompted by already having pub crawled for seven hours prior to arrival at this event.  to say that i had my beer goggles on would be being most generous to me.  so take it all in with however much salt you find necessary.

pros:  the little taster glasses were more than adorable, the lighting, while a bit harsh for such an event lead to really great photos of my friends and i making asses of ourselves, there were more beers available to try than i could possibly get to, everyone was happy, the pourers were frien…

Beers on the BrewPub Crawl

okay, here's the scoop on the beers we enjoyed on the four beers and a funeral brewpub crawl, part of vancouver craft beer week, held on saturday.  as usual, i had lots of beers, so the notes start out legible and sensical and quickly degenerate.  here they are, sometimes verbatim, edited for sense and to protect any pride i might still have left!

steamworks:  ginger beer - amazing, if i had more than two thumbs, they'd be up too.  an ale with lots of ginger flavour and carbonation.  makes the tongue tingle and the tummy warm.  great alternative to a lemon or lime lager for refreshment.  we all tried this beer, and were all mighty glad that we did.

even though i swore i would only have one beer per stop in an effort to keep my wits about me, i broke that oath at the very first stop and had a second beer.  apparently it only takes 1 beer to make me forget all my good intentions.  bridget and i ordered ipas and amanda ordered the wheat beer.  bridget and i were disappointed.  th…

Four Beers and a Funeral BrewPub Crawl

tried so hard to upload camera phone photos during the crawl, but to no avail... then yesterday the excess excesses from the crawl hit me and i was unable to type... so my apologies that this post is so late in arriving...

four beers and a funeral:  omg, i'm not sure there are words to describe the wonderousness of this event.  of course though, i'm going to use lots of them any way! 
and post photos too!

let me just begin however, by saying that the vancouver craft beer week crew did a fabulous job on this event in particular, and the whole week was so well run, well planned, and well imagined - i loved it!  and bought the shirt to prove it!

first stop, steamworks.  amazing ginger beer, which is a limited edition, so hurry in and get yours before its gone.

we were at this stop for an hour, so along with the delectable pub grub they served, we also had a second beer.  it was supposed to be ipa, but i think we got lager instead.  nothing to write home about either way... did i …

quote of the day

"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer."
-Frank Zappa

good vs evil

vancouver craft beer week's good vs evil at waazubee last night was fabulous!

i have all sorts of notes, in varying degrees of legibility...  here they are, for what they're worth!  photos to follow.

Russell's Angry Scotch Ale:  nice head.  dark as treacle, but not hazy or opaque.  i can see why it won a bronze medal at the world cup of beer.  malty, toasty, with a little coffee.  delightfully dark.  4.5%

oh boy, full-sized sleeves are gonna kick our fargin' arses

[i chatted up the rep and he said that the lemon ale that i sampled the night before at st. augustine's is cleared of all its yeast and that's why its so un-hefeweisen-like and refreshing.  and probably why i actually liked a wheat beer!]

Howe Sound's Pothole Filler limited edition oatmeal stout:  9% and 65 IBUs.  a meal in a glass - you could fill a pothole with it.  brown head.  opaque.  lots of coffee.  good thing we had this early so as to work our way back up to hungry for the appys.  went st…

Driftwood's Crooked Coast Amber Ale

ah Driftwood Brewery, local brewers extraordinaire!  today's tipple is the Crooked Coast Amber Ale.

yes, i know its not an ipa, sometimes i need a little more malt, and my darker beer of choice tends to be an amber ale.

holy head batman!  i think perhaps the beer was a bit too chilled at the pour... operator error.

from the bottle:  "Inspired by the original Alt-style beer of Dusseldorf, Crooked Coast brings together the aromas of German noble hops and Munich malt to produce a very refreshing and mellow ale that is the perfect companion on any shape of coast."

at a modest 5.1% you can settle in and make this your session beer, and i suggest that you do - its malty goodness sure does refresh!

and then i visited the website to see what they have to say, and they second my suggestion to make it a session beer:  "Delicate malt-hop balance is the defining trait of this quintessential session beer!"

and offers these food pairing suggestions: 
Celery, fennel, parsnips.…

quote of the day

"Who does not love beer, wine, women and song remains a fool his whole life long."
-Carl Worner

vancouver craft beer week

here we are, several days into the inaugural Vancouver Craft Beer Week and i have yet to attend an official event.

why, you might ask, why?

tight pursestrings would be the easy answer.  there are so many fabulous sounding events, but each one comes with a price tag that until i win the lottery, i just can't justify paying.

i would have been willing to part with cashola (or more realistically, creditcardola) for more events, but for my great fear of showing up at a beer and food pairing event that tries to feed me only meat.  you see, i'm a lacto-ovo-pescatarian (and no, i don't need medication for that) which as far as vegetarianism goes leaves me on the more flexible side of food restrictions (eggs, dairy, fish and seafood are all on my "eat it" list), which is good.... but not good enough to take the risk that some of the food on offer will fall into the above categories.

so what? you may be asking, so what?  well, the menus for the craft beer and food pairing …

Southern Tier's Unearthly Imperial IPA

ah the Southern Tier Unearthly
'tis one of my favourites - and offers "an uninhibited infusion of hops"
which is good - i like hops!

i'm not sure if its the 11%, the 23 degrees plato, the red wheat or the triple hopping with chinook & cascade hops in the kettle, styrian golding hops back, topped with cascade, centenial and chinook dry hops that makes it so darned tasty, but whatever it is, i'm quite the big fan!  (and don't tell anyone, but i like to put on my best jersey accent when i say that its from new york, not that i know whether lakewood is anywhere near jersey or not - why let trifles like that stand in the way of an accent opportunity?)

this is a beer that i can have just one 650 mL bottle of over the course of an evening and feel perfectly satisfied on any old night, or require several rounds of to quench my hops hunger some other random night, but guaranteed i'll be a hoppy camper either way it turns out!  one night it will just be easier t…